Osaka Loses To Incredible Pliskova In Qatar Open Quarterfinals

Osaka Loses To Incredible Pliskova In Qatar Open Quarterfinals

by Zachary Wimer

Naomi Osaka's journey at the 2024 Qatar Open in Doha has ended at the hands of Karolina Pliskova, who is playing tennis at an incredible level right now.

On paper, this seemed like a very close match because they played once earlier this year. That, too, was a very close match, and the conditions here favored each even more, so a close battle was really expected.

There were some indications that Osaka could do better because this was Pliskova's 7th day in a row playing tennis. She was expected to be tired, but she really wasn't.

She served amazingly all match long and hit the ball incredibly well from the baseline for much of it, but Osaka was able to match that, for the most part. Both had moments when they seemed better than the opponent, but the serving really tilted in favor of the Czech player in crucial moments, especially the second set.

The first set finished in a tie-break, which Pliskova won by being more consistent with it. Osaka had her chances and was up a mini-break twice but couldn't quite finish it through.

She was better from the baseline, but Pliskova had the serve working really well for much of the day. The second set saw Osaka survive match points in two different games at a time when the match was being decided.

She dragged herself into the second-set tiebreak but started with a 0-3 deficit. A huge moment was when she won the fourth point thanks to an incredibly lucky net tip that cut Pliskova's momentum instantaneously.

From 3-0 for the Czech player, the score went to 3-3, but in the end, she was able to overcome Osaka. Despite playing a lot of tennis lately, Pliskova is clearly in the zone because she painted more than a few lines in that second-set tie-break and hit some incredibly timely serves.

Still, overall, it was a good showing from Osaka, though she'll regret not winning this match because she absolutely could have won it. The final score was 7-6(6), 7-6(5) for the Czech player, who will now face Iga Swiatek in the semifinals.


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